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Michigan abortion ban is unconstitutional, Court of Claims judge rules

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A Michigan court has found the state’s 1931 abortion ban unconstitutional.

State Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ruled Wednesday that the Michigan Constitution’s due process clause is broad enough to include a woman’s right to an abortion.

The law would make abortion a felony except when “necessary to preserve the life” of a woman.

The ban had been dormant under Roe v. Wade, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision earlier this summer removed federal protections for abortion rights and made Michigan’s abortion ban the subject of a fierce legal battle.

Michigan abortion providers and their legal advocates have said the ban would put women’s health at risk and damage the practice of medicine.

Attorneys seeking to uphold the law have said it was validly enacted and remains constitutional.

A series of court rulings blocked the law from being enforced while the legal fight progressed.

Separately, the Michigan Supreme Court is considering whether to place a proposed amendment on the November 8 ballot that would add abortion rights to the Michigan Constitution.

Supporters submitted more than 700,000 signatures, easily clearing the threshold for inclusion on the ballot. But a tie vote by the Board of State Canvassers over spacing issues on the petition has kept it off the ballot so far.